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Telecommunications Licensing

Telecommunications Licensing

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Telecommunications Licensing

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  1. Telecommunications Licensing Peter Skeen Assistant Manager Telecommunications Licensing and Numbering International Training Program - Melbourne Friday 8th September 2006 1

  2. Number of carriers • ACMA has issued 213 carrier licences since 1997. • A carrier can surrender their licence. • There are currently 157 active carrier licences. • During 2005/06, 35 carrier licences were granted.

  3. Carrier Licensing • Open licensing regime. • A carrier is the holder of a carrier licence. • The owner of a network unit that is used to supply carriage services to the public must hold a carrier licence unless: • a nominated carrier declaration is in force in relation to the network unit; or • an exemption applies

  4. ‘Network Units’ • Line links connecting distinct places at least 500 metres apart (eg optical fibre, copper cable) • Multiple links exceeding aggregate distance of 5 kilometres • Designated Radiocommunications Links • Base Station that is part of a Public Mobile Telecommunications Service • Base Station that is part of a Terrestrial Radiocommunications Customer Access Network eg Wireless LAN for Internet • Fixed Radiocommunications Link (eg microwave link) • Satellite-based Facilities (ie transponder) (Note: switching systems, internet servers and databases are not network units)

  5. ‘Carriage Service’ • Carriage service means a service for carrying communications by means of guided and/or unguided electromagnetic energy. eg standard telephone service, VoIP, data service, internet service, GSM, CDMA

  6. ‘Supply to the public’: Immediate circle • Fundamental to carrier and service provider concepts • Used to determine if a person is supplying services to the public • that is, outside the person’s immediate circle • A person’s immediate circle is defined by reference to who they are (eg. corporation, private individual or government authority)

  7. Carriage Service Providers (CSPs) • A person who supplies a carriage service to the public using a network unit is a carriage service provider. • Over 1200 CSPs in Australia. • Majority of CSPs do not own network units and do not require a carrier licence. • CSPs purchase capacity from carriers. • Carriers will normally be CSPs.

  8. Who must hold a carrier licence? • Owners of network units are prohibited from allowing those units to be used to supply carriage services to the public without: • holding a carrier licence, or • a nominated carrier declaration being in force

  9. Who may hold a carrier licence? • Any constitutional corporation, partnership involving constitutional corporations and public bodies may apply to be licensed as a carrier. • ACMA may refuse to grant licences to disqualified persons.

  10. Carrier Licensing: Exemptions • Existing exemptions for: • defence, intelligence organisations • transport authorities, electricity supply bodies • broadcasters (on more limited grounds) • under previous laws • Exemptions allow purpose-based use and sale of remaining capacity to carriers or other exempt users

  11. Carrier Licensing: Benefits • Right to own facilities that are used to provide public services. • Facilities access rights eg land, telecom towers, buildings. • Powers and immunities (planning laws) eg GSM towers.

  12. Key Carrier Licensing Processes • Carrier licence application is circulated within ACMA for comment ie Legal, Standards, Radiocommunications, Broadcasting and Finance. • ACMA must consult with the Agency Co-ordinator (Attorney-General’s Department) before granting a carrier licence. National interests, interception and law enforcement issues are considered by the Agency Co-ordinator. • ACMA generally has 20 business days to grant carrier licence after application is sent to Agency Co-ordinator. Agency Co-ordinator can request more time to consider application. • New carriers must submit an Interception Capability Plan to the Agency Co-ordinator and ACMA within 90 days of the carrier licence being granted.

  13. Nominated Carrier Declaration • Carriers may apply to be a nominated carrier in relation to a particular network unit • accepting carrier related responsibilities • removing the requirement for the unit’s owner to be licensed. • Initially intended to deal with legal ownership by financiers arising out of financing arrangements.

  14. Trial Certificates • Allows networks units owned by a non-carrier to be used to supply carriage services to the public for a set period. • Maximum period of trial is 6 months • Further extensions of 6 months permitted

  15. Licence Charges Application Charge • $2,200 Annual Carrier Licence Charge • Fixed minimum amount $341 (2005/06) • Variable component depending on share of industry revenue. 2005/06 - range $0 to over $22,000,000

  16. Annual Carrier Licence Charges - 2005/06 • Based on recovery of ACMA, ACCC, DCITA and ITU costs related to administration of telecommunications. (2005/06 - $33,373,560) • Eligible Industry Revenue - $24,091,883,862 (2004/05) • Total annual charges about 1.2% of eligible telecommunications revenue. Includes ACLC,USO and NRS levies. • Eligible telecommunications revenue allows deductions of payments made to other carriers. • If already an ISP have to include ISP revenue in annual return.

  17. Number of carrier licences

  18. Number of Nominated Carrier Declarations